Imran wants ‘empowered’ body to probe Wazirabad attack

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has accused the prime minister, interior minister and the “black sheep” in the army for plotting and executing multiple attempts to assassinate him.

Addressing via video link from his Zaman Park residence on Thursday, Mr Khan urged the chief justice of Pakistan to back a powerful inquiry team, otherwise the plotters, who he alleged were currently holding top positions, would not allow justice to be served.

“I have no hope of justice after the hurdles being created in the functioning of the joint investigation team (JIT),” the former prime minister said about the panel probing the attack on him in Wazirabad.

Questioning the powers-that-be, Mr Khan insisted PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, whom he alleged was notorious for extra-judicial killings and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, whom he called a known killer, were the main characters of his assassination plot.

“What’s seriously worrying is that the defenders of the country got involved in the plot and are covering it up,” he lamented.

“Since I know the perpetrators of the attack and have been talking about the whole plan in public meetings besides recording a video naming the four people responsible for the assassination plots against me, I am baffled for the last two months at the mindset that allows a country’s saviour to go against its interests.”

“Since I ruled the country for over three years, I got a message from state agencies that a plan and conspiracy was being hatched to assassinate me,” he claimed, adding anti-Pakistan elements could come up with such a plan, but not someone assigned to protect the country’s borders and interests.

In the wake of the JIT report, the PTI chairman attempted to explain the events he believed took place culminating in the Nov 3 attack on him, and posed several questions about the developments after that day.

He asked why he, despite being the head of a “federal political party” and a former premier, could not get an FIR registered on the attempt on his life; who recorded the video of the suspected shooter Naveed; who asked the Gujrat district police officer (DPO) to send that video to “anti-PTI” journalists; who asked the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) to record another video late at night, release and later re-release it with a changed background; and why some parts of the JIT report were leaked to an “anti-PTI” anchor?

Mr Khan insisted the JIT had confirmed that suspect Naveed’s polygraph test had failed and that he was a trained shooter who was not acting alone. He said the suspect had recorded a “scripted” statement saying he was a religious fanatic and acted alone.

He further said the JIT confirmed there were three shooters, and asked again why the suspect said he was a ‘lone wolf’?

The PTI chairman also asked who was stopping the Gujrat DPO and a CTD official from cooperating with the JIT despite the fact that both officials were serving the PTI-PML-Q-led Punjab government.

The PTI chief also regretted that the JIT provided a mobile phone of the suspects to the forensic department but it refused to share details of the data — for being a federal government institution.

“Instead of helping the JIT find out who was behind the attempt on my life, many key persons are not cooperating at the behest of the federal government,” he claimed.

The Punjab government-formed JIT has reportedly found that the attack on Mr Khan was carried out from three different shooting sites, an official privy to the findings said.

Govt reaction

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Thursday Imran Khan had brought the economy to its knees through his “disastrous policies”, adds APP.

In a press conference, she dismissed the PTI chief’s “narrative of helplessness” as a “pack of lies”.

The PTI has governments in Punjab, KP, Azad Kashmir and GB, but ironically its chairman was complaining of “helplessness”, she said.

“The PTI chief is right as it was only one person — Imran Khan himself — who played havoc with the country, deprived the poor of their livelihood, traded off Kashmir, took historic foreign debts, and looted the national wealth ruthlessly during his four-year rule,” the minister added.

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